BLADENSBURG, Md. – President Obama on Monday announced more than $100 million in grants for two dozen schools across the country that are helping students gain work experience for what he called the “in-demand jobs of the future.”
The money, which comes from fees that companies pay for visas to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs, is the result of an executive order Obama signed last year to better prepare high school students for college or for careers. Students are working on “cooler stuff than when I was in high school,” Obama said as he announced the grants before cheering high school students in Washington’s Maryland suburbs.
A total of 24 schools are being awarded the money after a nationwide competition, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the New York City Department of Education and districts in Denver, Indianapolis and Clinton, S.C. Obama explained it will allow schools to “develop and test new curricula and models for success. We want to invest in your future,” he said.
Obama announced the grants at Bladensburg High School, one of three high schools in Washington’s Maryland suburbs that have created a Youth CareerConnect Program that is the recipient of $7 million under the announcement. Students at Bladensburg work on real-world projects with community partners to get ready for college admission or careers. The grant at the school, where more than 70 percent of students are low-income, will expand the Health & Biosciences Academy to prepare more students for careers in the health care field.